A newly arrived visitor having just come to Odessa railway station or, my God, even worse to the Odessa airport concourse, he will just confusedly shrug his shoulders thinking: “And where is that famous Odessa?” “Not so easy, my darling” – some of the locals will say while passing by and citing the famous Sent- Eksupery: “ The main here is what you cannot see with your eyes”. And it is hard not to agree with the author, especially, when he is absolutely right.
Indeed, Odessa is the city that you cannot just see but you have to hear, breath, touch, taste it. Odessa is not just airport, railway station, not even Primorskyy Boulevard or Deribasovskaya street – not only these, to be precise. Odessa – is in in those unbelievable stories, brilliant phrases, stock phrases, genius poems, “ruffian songs”, special humor, brave pressmen, and unexpected anecdotes, popular books. Of course, one look from the platform when you arrive is not enough. We cannot pretend to cover all in words, but dare to offer you – constantly renewing – Odessa selection of stories, poems, sayings, songs and much more that can help you to see that invisible Odessa. In fact, having known all of it you can see that every little child in Odessa knows from his very childhood: “a lot of towns in the world you see, but – you‘ll never find the one like this”.
Odessa is sightseeing itself, but you, by all means, have to visit the famous Privoz, Deribasovskaya, Odessa Opera House (the most beautiful in Europe) and Potyomkinskaya stairs (the longest in the country), “Glory Belts” monument, hospital, Primorskyy Boulevard and Semiround square (1826 – 1829) with Richelieu monument, Vorontsov’s palace, Naryshkin’s and Pototskyy palace, Uspenskyy monastery (1824) and seminary, the Old bourse, Odessa Seaport (the biggest on the Black Sea) etc. The ruins of the old Turkish fortress in the Shevchenko park are very interesting to see too, Saint Maria Magdalena’s church, many interesting museums – Archeological (with a rich collection of Egyptian, Scythian and antiquities), Art museum, Navy museum, Literary museum, museum of Western and Oriental art, local history museum, literary-memorial museum of A.S.Pushkin and many others.
Odessa estuaries are famous for its medical, therapeutic mud and are used as resorts since 1828 (Arcadia, Lusanovka and others)
The famous Potemkinskaya stairs has 192 steps. The stairs were presented by grand duke Vorontsov for her wife Elizabeth and it cost the city 800 thousand rubles. In Soviet times the stairs were named in honor of the revolt on Potyomkin battleship in 1905. It was called Richelieu stairs named after the duke De Richelieu the founder of Odessa, and the monument of whom is standing at the beginning of the stairs. The construction of the giant stairs started in 1837 and finished in 1841. The author of the project was F. Boffo who made thorough proportion of the construction.
Having walked up by Potyomkinskaya stairs from the seaport you are coming onto the Prymorskyy Boulevard – the most beautiful in the city. There is a beautiful view of the seaport.
Splendid architectural ensembles are stretched along the boulevard. Here, at one of the most beautiful buildings of Odessa, you can see the monument to the Great Russian poet Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin.
One of the main sightseeing of Odessa is Deribasovskaya street, named after the first mayor of the city – Yosyp Deribas, and also the Greek square joining this street. Nowadays, most part of the street, the square and the City Garden are pedestrian and are the most enjoyable places for Odessa inhabitants and guests of our city. There are many restaurants, bars, shops and clubs. Life there never stops. The City Garden is traditionally the place of sell-and-exhibition of Odessa painters. It looks like some kind of art-gallery, the functionality of which is fulfilled by Sobornaya square (Soborka).
The State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre occupies an outstanding place in Odessa cultural life. The theatre was built in 1884 – 1887, and it is one of the most wonderful architectural buildings in Europe. Its portal is decorated with sculpture ensembles, which allegorically show the muses – the patrons of theatre, music, dancing, comedy and tragedy. Visiting the opera House has a great impression on its visitors. The theatre is famous for its history. There were a lot of famous writers and composers. Many great singers like Shalyapin, Caruso, Sobinov appeared on its stage.
Odessa also can offer you to visit other theatres like Music Comedy theatre, Russian Drama theatre named after Ivanov, Ukrainian theatre, Philharmonic Hall etc.
While visiting Odessa we would advise you ( if you do not live there then you should go) to go to museums: Archeological, Western and Oriental Art, Literary, Naval, Arts museum. Odessa museum of A.S. Pushkin, Numismatic museum and others.
Memorial of Odessa defense during the Second World War – the 411th Battery.
Odessa was one of the first who could stop the fascist army attack by our country. Odessa held the line of defense for 73 days and did not give up as the troops were pulling back to Crimea for Sevastopol defense. After organized evacuation of Soviet army, the German Romanian troops could not dare to come into the city being afraid of some trick.
The 411th land battery had an important significance in the city defense since June 1941 till November 1941. The battery consisted of 4 ship long-range howitzers of 200 and 300 millimeters caliber.
Nowadays, there is a museum of Odessa defense at the places of the 411th battery. The exhibition of weapons and military equipment of the 2ndWorld War is located on the memorial territory under open air. Besides, there you can see the famous Odessa tank, which was called “scare”. It was a usual tractor covered with bulletproof armor. The Odessa defenders made such tanks in surrounded Odessa.
Among the exhibits you can see an armored train on a railway and it is similar to the one which were made during the defense on the local plant “named - “January revolt”. One more interesting exhibit is a tram, which ran by Odessa- Front route in 1941.
In 1980 the exhibition under open air was added with submarine “Malyutka”(baby) M – 296 (project A615, plant number 702)
In the park around museum you can also see the front defense line with trenches, fire dots of artillery and mortar batteries.
And there is a museum where you can get to know with events of history of the defense period.